The Federal Communications Commission’s
spectrum license auction ended late Monday, raising total net revenues of
more than $410 million.
The auctioned licenses can be used by companies to provide a variety of
fixed wireless services including local, long distance, high speed data and
Internet access information services.
William Kennard, FCC chairman said companies that won the bids would help
create competition in the wireless market segment.
“This auction has inserted 2,173 new fixed wireless licenses into the
marketplace,” Kennard said. “Winning bidders have the potential to create
robust competition to the local telephone companies and other local service
providers. This should result in lower prices and more choices for consumers.”
The auction began on April 12 and ended after 73 rounds of bidding. Of the
29 winning bidders 18 claimed small business status. A total of 2,450
licenses were auctioned. Unsold licenses will be part of a future auction.
Thomas Sugrue, FCC Wireless Telecommunications Bureau chief, said small
businesses won bids on almost 40 percent of the total licenses won.
“These licenses will provide winning bidders with the opportunity to use
the latest technologies to meet consumers communications needs,” Sugrue
said. “The auction also created significant opportunities for small
businesses, which acquired 849 licenses in 171 markets for various exciting
new wireless services.”
Winstar Communications Inc. Tuesday
announced that it was one of the top bidders in the FCC auction.
As a result of its winning bid, Winstar
was able to
enhance its spectrum portfolio in each of the top 60 U.S. markets, adding a
total of 109 new channels in these markets and raising its average spectrum
holdings from approximately 800 MHz to over 1000 MHz in each market.
Winstar’s bids totaled approximately $161 million for 931 licenses,
enabling the company to cover an additional 679 million channel pops. The
transaction brings Winstar’s total number of U.S. channel pops to
approximately 2.1 billion.
Because Winstar bid specifically for spectrum licenses that complement its
current footprint, the company was able to extend its target market
coverage in a cost-effective manner. Winstar paid an average of $0.49 per
channel pop for newly acquired spectrum in each of the top 60 markets.
William J. Rouhana, Jr., Winstar chairman and chief executive officer said
the company is well positioned to construct its broadband network.
“Winstar was successful in bidding on licenses that round out our current
spectrum holdings, giving us an unrivaled depth of coverage in the top 60
U.S. target markets,” Rouhana said. “As the only broadband service provider
with ubiquitous national spectrum coverage, Winstar is uniquely positioned
to build the most widely available, end-to-end network and provide a full
portfolio of broadband services to businesses.”
The company anticipates that the FCC will issue the licenses in the next 4
months. Winstar is putting it expertise in network deployment to prepare
for the availability of radio equipment in the 38 GHz band. Winstar
anticipates that it will be able to use this spectrum immediately upon FCC
Winstar’s current portfolio of broadband services include high-speed
Internet access and data transport, Web-based information, applications
services, Web hosting and local and long distance services.
Based in New York City, Winstar operates in more than 70 markets throughout
the U.S., Europe, Asia and South America. It is one of the largest license
holders of broadband fixed wireless spectrum, with licenses in the top 60
U.S. markets and in more than 20 international markets.
The FCC auctioned licenses in 172 economic areas across the U.S
areas in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Licenses were also auctioned
United States territories in Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto
Rico and the United States Virgin Islands, and American Samoa.
License winners must make down payments on licenses 10 business days after
the release of the bidding notices and the close of the auction. Winning
bidders must also file their long form applications with the FCC within the